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Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee Calls The SC National Anthem Ruling 'Faulty'

Says it is a clear case of judicial over-reach.

02/12/2016 11:07 AM IST | Updated 02/12/2016 11:40 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - OCTOBER 3: Jurist and former Attorney-General of India Soli Sorabjee at the sixth edition of an annual Sikh Awards ceremony on October 3, 2015 in New Delhi, India. The award organised for the first time in India was aimed at celebrating and recognising the pivotal contributions made by the community across various fields like business, charity, education, entertainment, media, professional service, seva and sports. (Photo by Manoj Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee said that he did not agree with the Supreme Court ruling which makes it compulsory for cinema halls to play the national anthem.

The distinguished jurist told the Indian Express, that the ruling was an instance of judicial over-reach. "In my opinion, the order is per incuriam [an order that is passed in disregard of a binding authority]," Sorabjee said.

Sorabjee explained that such a law will prove to be unenforceable and some of its provisions are impractical. The order to keep cinema hall exits closed when the national anthem is being played goes against safety rules and the order for everyone to stand up when the national anthem is being played disregards individual handicaps and religious or personal convictions.

"How can the court compel a cinema theatre to play the national anthem? Can the cinema hall owners be hauled up for disrespecting the national anthem if some of the patrons did not stand up when it was being screened? There are many questions which are not answered by the court in its interim directions," Sorabjee told the Times of India.

Sorabjee cited the landmark Bijoe Emmannuel judgement in which the Supreme Court upheld the rights of three school students in Kerela not to sing the national anthem as their religious beliefs forbid them from doing so.

"At the next hearing, somebody, maybe the AG, should appear and tell the court you can't pass such orders," the former Attorney General said. "And, the court should listen."

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